US Housing Starts: Q1 data unambiguously positive - Wells Fargo

Analysts at Wells Fargo noted that revisions to previously published reports show that starts and permits were stronger during the first quarter in the US. 

Key Quotes: 

“Housing starts rose 1.9 percent in March, with all of the gain coming in the volatile multifamily category. Multifamily starts jumped 14.4 percent during the month, while single-family starts fell 3.7 percent.”

“Despite the dip in single-family starts, the data for the first three months of the year are unambiguously positive and indicate that new home construction has more momentum than previous reports had indicated. Data for February were revised up significantly and now show starts falling less than half as much as the preliminary figures indicated. Housing permits were also revised up significantly.”

“The new data show homebuilding is off to a strong start, with overall starts through the first three months of this year running 8.0 percent ahead of the same period one year ago.”

“Overall starts through the first three months of the year are up 9.0 percent, but single-family are down 4.8 percent. Moreover, overall permits through March in the Northeast are down 1.5 percent and single-family permits have fallen 3.6 percent. We would expect these data to improve once things warm up in May and June.”

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